Highlights and Low Points at the Chicago Auto Show

The 2009 Chicago Auto Show is on, but as alt vehicles go, ain't much for excitement.

Excluding hybrids, no fewer than 65 alternative fuel vehicles are currently on display at the Chicago Auto Show, only 8 of which are not products of the Big Three:

  • The natural gas (CNG) Honda Civic GX
  • The hydrogen fuel cell Honda FCX Clarity
  • The all-electric Mitsubishi I MIEV
  • The all-electric Mercedez-Benz BlueZERO E-Cell
  • The flex-fuel Mercedes C-Class
  • The flex-fuel Nissan Armada
  • The flex-fuel Nissan Titan
  • The flex-fuel Toyoya Sequioa

Only 10 of the 24 hybrids at the show are from the Big Three, and of the 14 from outside Detroit, 10 are coming out of Toyota, including 4 Lexus models.

The Concept Cars on display, normally the most interesting part of any show for me, are a disappointment. In the alternative fuel vein, there’s nothing we haven’t seen before. For kicks there’s the 2010 Jaguar XFR Prototype, its claim to fame being the fastest Jaguar ever, thanks to its AJ-V8 Generatiion III R engine.

Pretty dull. Well, Spongebob Squarepants will be in the South Hall on Tuesday February 17 from 10-3. That’s something.

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